Summer seems like it should be a slower time, and so I thought I would write about a skill that we all need to add more of – patience. Many people struggle with entrepreneurial impatience. And that’s not always a bad thing. It’s often our sense of urgency that drives business growth in the first place, right? Plus, I think that part of the psychological makeup of many entrepreneurs is a minor case of ADD, or in my case, ADHD with an emphasis on the H. Renowned psychiatrist Dr. Dale Archer even called it an entrepreneur’s “superpower” in a 2014 Forbes article.

Whether or not you have a diagnosis of ADD, impatience can often be fatal, particularly where marketing is concerned.
entrepreneurial impatience

We often try something once, or for a short time, and when there are no immediate results says “Well that doesn’t work.” It’s like lifting weights one day and expecting a tricep cut to develop overnight. I’m not suggesting that we all go out and spend a bajillion dollars on advertising. But I do think that in order for promotional tactics to work you have to learn to wait a bit.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if maybe your own sense of urgency has turned into a bad case of entrepreneurial impatience:

  • Are you measuring your campaign results by the number of orders you’re getting off each initiative? In a word, DON’T. Look at your website hits instead, or the traffic in your store. What’s the first step toward buying your product or service? Do they request a brochure? Do they visit the website? Are you adding Twitter followers or Facebook fans like crazy? Measure by those “first steps” in the short term.
  • Are you changing your marketing strategy on a weekly or monthly basis? WRONG. You had better have confidence in your strategy (or your consultant) from the start. Nothing works if you don’t believe in it 100% from the beginning. Switching around what you’re doing on a constant basis and you’ll end up running circles. That doesn’t mean you aren’t changing tactics frequently, however. Keep in mind there is a difference. Strategies require patience. Tactics require constant measurement and adjustment (a place where entrepreneurial impatience isn’t so bad.)
  • Are you relying on only one or two outreach methods? It may work now, but it will stop working eventually. Or you’ll end up trying one thing after another. BLEND your messaging channels as part of your strategy. If you’re doing radio, connect it to a twitter promotion. Trying guerilla marketing? Make sure you’ve got some PR working in conjunction with those “on the ground”techniques.

Many experts believe managing entrepreneurial impatience is an important key to success. Jay Conrad Levinson, the founder of Guerilla Marketing, even says that patience is the most important characteristic of successful entrepreneurs. Be confident in your approach. Measure it wisely. And then, like that old farmer in the field, be patient and watch the seeds of grow.

Here’s a great post with some more tips on social media and patience – great stuff here!